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Old 09-23-2016, 10:32 PM   #1
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Default Recommended Winter tire size? *185/70 R14

Hi everyone!
I've currently got a 2000 NB, with yellow bilstein HD stock replacement shocks. Stock everything else.
My summer setup if Bfgoodrich COMP-2's on 195/50 r15 tires - I'm currently researching and trying to finalize my decision on winter tire size. I'm thinking of going with the X-Ice XI3.

It appears the thread below mine ,fellow user () Erat runs 195/60/15 (which are the same size at the 185/70 r14's total diameter) without rubbing (nb year unknown). In this thread from 2011 (185/70/14s on the MX) 185/70 r14 was used on a NA1 without rubbing.

I've tried to find the largest size I could for maximal snow clearance & pothole risk, but would like to know you guys think this increased size (versus 185/60) would provide significantly more sidewall flex and worse driving feel (by the seat of the pants). I have a set of 14" and 16" rims waiting for usage, so both r14 and r16 are available.

I'm slowly fixing up the miata. Currently I am absorbing all the information I can read in the turbo threads.

Thank you for feedback fellas.

EDIT: I wanted to get The blizzak WS80's but they only come in 185/65 r15. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't fit correct ?

Last edited by TheCanadian; 09-23-2016 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:35 AM   #2
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I wouldn't be too concerned with driving feel on winter tires. They're all going to be mushy and feedback-less. Typically you want the skinniest tire you can reasonably get, this increases traction in snow (think the opposite of snow-shoes, you're concentrating the contact patch).

I think 185/70, or 175/70 would be fine.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyxyth View Post
I wouldn't be too concerned with driving feel on winter tires. They're all going to be mushy and feedback-less. Typically you want the skinniest tire you can reasonably get, this increases traction in snow (think the opposite of snow-shoes, you're concentrating the contact patch).

I think 185/70, or 175/70 would be fine.
Thanks for the reply ! .
I'm going to hunt down some good 14" 's . Too bad blizzak's don't come in 14" anymore. There's a great sale at costco and the smallest they have is 175/65 r15

EDIT: http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=301674 Looks like 175/65 r15 is the absolute maximum.

Last edited by TheCanadian; 09-24-2016 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 09-24-2016, 11:21 AM   #4
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I had General Altimax Artic something or another on my previous car, they were great. I'm pretty sure they come in 14". You can get 'em studded too.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:11 PM   #5
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A second vote for the altimax arctics. Whether you want wide or narrow snow tires depends on the type of snow you get. I find, at least with my Honda fit, a lightweight FWD car, it is easier to get around on top of the snow with wider tires. But up in north jersey, we mostly get heavy wet slush that more than 6" of will just high center you.
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:30 AM   #6
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Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Handy thing about tirerack is the spec page for specific models of tires. I can say for sure if a 24inch (175/65/15) or 24.5 (185/65/15) inch diameter wheel will fit but the 175/65/15 tire has a tread width of 5.5 inches while the 185/65/15 is a full half inch wider. If you're counting millimeters it helps to get all the info you can.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Handy thing about tirerack is the spec page for specific models of tires. I can say for sure if a 24inch (175/65/15) or 24.5 (185/65/15) inch diameter wheel will fit but the 175/65/15 tire has a tread width of 5.5 inches while the 185/65/15 is a full half inch wider. If you're counting millimeters it helps to get all the info you can.
Thank you. I'm currently doing research on the WS60's. They are a bit older, but will fit the wheels that I have (14"). Otherwise I'm debating on getting the larger WS80's and buying steelies
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:18 AM   #8
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We have run the WS60 and WS70 on our minivan. Both felt like you were driving on baloons in the dry. And in anything above 40F, the tread rappidly dissapears. They are amazing in the snow and ice though.
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Old 09-26-2016, 02:26 PM   #9
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That's because the outer half of the Blizzak tread is a very soft compound that sticks well in the snow, but obviously soft wears quicker than hard. Typically when it's above 40 there's no snow, so when there's no snow you'll be wearing out your tires quicker.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:48 AM   #10
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I ended up ordering a set of 185/55 R16 WS80's . I have a spare set of 16" rims. This size is 24" diameter, which is 0.2" smaller than the 185/70 r14 (24.2"). So I should be good on rubbing. I think this is the larges that would fit a stock height NB.
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:23 PM   #11
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I'd like to see what that setup looks like!
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:00 AM   #12
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185-55 R16 fits perfectly on stock suspension. Feels like a mini monster truck now though.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:12 PM   #13
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Nokian Nordman 5. Use to be Hakkapelita 5. Really nice tires to go from ice to snow and slush..

not expensive either
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:23 PM   #14
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Practical experience:

Too much is made of trying to run the narrowest possible snow tire. For those of us who live in civilization, snow and ice are a relatively rare occurrence even in the harshest of winters. Salt and snowplows are things that exist. And not all winter tires are horrible to drive on dry pavement.

I run Michelin Xi3 in 185/55 R16. The treadwidth on these is a paltry 0.3" less than my summer tires, which are Dunlop DZ102 in 205/45R16. Living just a little south of Pougkeepsie, NY, I never even got close to being stuck once.

Buy the best winter tire you can find in your rim diameter, and don't fret if the specified width of one tire is a little more than another.
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:02 PM   #15
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I put 175/65/15 Michilin IceX Xi13 on my wife's Mini. mounted on 7" rims. I was surprised by how well the car handles even on dry pavement. in the 40 deg wet conditions they feel like they have more grip than her Conti DW's. I may try them in place of Hoosier H20's on my Miata this weekend in Canada if it is wet. I have determined the H20's to be a couple seconds slower than the Conti DW in 40 deg rain.

they are a bit too tall for the Miata. I think the 185/55/15 is probly a better choice for the Miata because its proper diameter but since they are so narrow and grip levels are low I'm guessing they probablyly won't rub too much.
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:56 PM   #16
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Slight confusion
I already got WS80's in 185/55 R16. They fit fine. Here is a picture.

It's a LOT higher than before.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCanadian View Post
Slight confusion
I already got WS80's in 185/55 R16. They fit fine. Here is a picture.

It's a LOT higher than before.
knowing that I regularly use all available travel with my competition car setup 23" OD tires rubbing directly above the tire on the metal inner fender after an autocross run on an undulating lot or on a road course leaving rub marks both front and rear I can say having a tire with 1/2" more radius wouldn't work well unless grip levels were much lower resulting in less weight transfer or it was driven only like a street commuter in some sort of sane fashion.
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbundy
knowing that I regularly use all available travel with my competition car setup 23" OD tires rubbing directly above the tire on the metal inner fender after an autocross run on an undulating lot or on a road course leaving rub marks both front and rear I can say having a tire with 1/2" more radius wouldn't work well unless grip levels were much lower resulting in less weight transfer or it was driven only like a street commuter in some sort of sane fashion.
You might also have more bump travel.
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afm View Post
You might also have more bump travel.
Gen I XIDA doubles 1000#/500# springs + Aero.
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbundy View Post
Gen I XIDA doubles 1000#/500# springs + Aero.
OP has stock shocks which I'd imagine have much longer body length.
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